Clean Out Fridge Day: Is this really a holiday?

Clean Out Fridge Day is celebrated on Nov. 15. But what's the genesis of Clean Out Fridge Day?

John Nordell / The Christian Science Monitor / File
In this file photo simulation, a courageous Christian Science Monitor reporter investigates another smelly corporate refrigerator.

When you have 365 days in a year, you have plenty of opportunity to assign holidays to the calendar.

For example, it's common knowledge in the US that the third Monday in February is Presidents' Day, a federal holiday honoring George Washington and Abraham Lincoln (although some state's choose not to merge the two presidential birthdays). And there's little question that the fourth Thursday in November is always Thanksgiving Day – unless you live in Canada, where it's the second Monday of October

But, somehow, the arbitrary date of Nov. 15 became 'Clean Out Fridge Day.' Who came up with this bright idea?

Yes, of course, it's necessary to keep your refrigerator relatively clean, but why today?

Some speculate that it's to prepare one's fridge for all the holiday foods that will be consumed between now and Jan. 1, 2012. For some, it's an opportunity to stretch their gastronomical limits and try a new recipe.

Perhaps it's a cover for an economic stimulus plan. It's supposed to get people to inspect said refrigerator, realize their current cold storage needs are inadequate and need replacing. In fact, traces the holiday to the Whirlpool Corporation in 1995. For a few years, Whirlpool promoted the third Wednesday in November. Apparently the company lost interest, but by 2000 it had become an "e-card" holiday, and took on a life of it's own.

Granted, it's something we all need to do from time to time, like getting our teeth cleaned or oil changed. But do we really need to be told when to do it?

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